On Friday morning, Kathleen and Kel met up with the film crew to finish with interviews and last-minute details. Around mid-day, Kel and Nicole bade farewell to Kathleen who headed back to the states. It was not a sad farewell, though, because we will be seeing her again in June!
We got a bit of a late start on the boat in the afternoon because of some camera trouble but we were able to set off a bit before 2 pm. After about an hour of searching, we came across a group of about 3 bottlenose dolphins. We only observed this group for a few minutes before continuing our search for the ever-elusive Atlantic spotted dolphins.
An hour and a half after leaving the bottlenose we finally found what we were hoping for–a group spotted dolphins. We were unable to identify these individuals from the boat but we do know that there were 2 juveniles and 2 sub-adults. Hopefully some of the surface photos we took will be useful for identifying them later. The film crew sent in their team to film this group and was able to collect a few minutes of footage.
It was over two hours later when we finally saw a splash in the distance. Once we were closer we were able to see a group of about 5 spotted dolphins including at least 2 calves. Kel was able to identify Inka (#93) from the boat, as well! This group did not show much interest in the boat or the film crew but they were certainly quite interested in each other! We saw huge leaps, flips and clusters of interaction from our vantage point on the boat. About half an hour after we had initially seen this group, we noticed that it was now comprised of spotted and bottlenose dolphins, including the rambunctious bottlenose photographed here. At this point the film crew gave the underwater observations another try so we hope they were able to collect some interesting footage!
As the sun was setting, we were left with a single bottlenose dolphin who turned out to be quite fascinating to observe. He was seen swimming belly-up at the surface and rubbing his back against some seaweed on the sea floor. We cannot wait to take a look at the video of that later on!
Close to 7 pm we decided to head back to the dock because the light was no longer ideal for filming. On our drive back we could see spotted dolphins leaping in the distance, perhaps wishing us a good night! It turned out to be another great day for us here in Bimini! What will tomorrow bring?
Kel & Nicole